In recently published research articles in Nature Nanotechnology and Nature Communications, entitled “Furcated Droplet Motility on Crystalline Surfaces” and “Slippery Damper of an Overlay for Arresting and Manipulating Droplets on Nonwetting Surfaces, respectively, Chair Professor Liqiu Wang, RGC postdoctoral fellow Dr. Xin Tang, and postdoctoral fellow Dr. Xing Han firstly discovered an unforeseen droplet furcated self-propulsion phenomenon on piezoelectric crystals. The discovery enriches the in-plane droplet control and has great potential in applications, such as thermal management, desalination and materials self-delivery.
In the second article, the researchers have developed a technique to enhance the droplet deposition on nonwetting surfaces. An ultrathin viscous overlayer can effectively dissipates droplet kinetic energy, allowing reliable liquid delivery and flexible post-deposition liquid control. Such method is significant for applications such as agricultural sprays, insecticides, and spray cooling.
The two key breakthroughs, one in in-plane and one in out-of-plane droplet control, bring about conceptually different methods to interact with fluids that are broadly sought after but challenging to achieve.
Schematics and images showing the enhanced droplet deposition using the lubricant overlayer.
For further information, please see links below:
“Furcated Droplet Motility on Crystalline Surfaces” has been published in Nature Nanotechnology: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41565-021-00945-w.
“Slippery Damper of an Overlay for Arresting and Manipulating Droplets on Nonwetting Surfaces” has been published in Nature Communications: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-021-23511-3.
The outputs have also been highlighted elsewhere, e.g.: